DNR closes Mille Lacs Lake to walleye fishing through July

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is reminding anglers that Mille Lacs Lake will be closed to walleye fishing for the month of July. The use of live bait is also banned on the lake this month.

The changes come in anticipation of preserving the fish population for the fall season by reducing walleye mortality while the waters are the warmest, the DNR stated.

The department originally announced walleye restrictions in March after what it called a record ice fishing season over the winter in which anglers harvested nearly 30,000 pounds of walleye. Those restrictions included a catch-and-release-only open season.

DNR fisheries section manager Brad Parsons said the department doesn’t expect anglers to exceed the season’s walleye allocation that was set in January.

“We know many people really enjoy fall walleye fishing and we heard from folks that this was their priority," Parsons said. "So we made plans this spring for the July closure to reduce the potential for an unplanned closure in the fall.”

So far state-licensed anglers have caught 34,718 pounds of the 87,800-pound limit for the season.